I get really excited about refinishing furniture because this is a great way to save a lot of money when decorating a room. The best thing to do is to make a list of items that you need to obtain and begin your search.

Some of my favorite places to obtain furniture items are:
KSL classifieds (a free Utah service to buy/sell items)
D.I. (the Utah version of Goodwill)
and Yard Sales (I am really lucky to live in a city where yard sales are frequent and year round).

What are you looking for in a piece of furniture?
I say the most important thing is get furniture made out of SOLID wood. Solid wood lasts forever and particle board furniture falls apart. My favorite pieces lately are from the 1920s and 30s. The turquoise chairs that I refinished on an earlier post found HERE are a great example of the furniture from the 20s. I love the character and detail, and the quality is fantastic. The furniture from that era was made well. One of the only problems I have with buying solid wood furniture is that it is so HEAVY, and I cannot lift it without help from my husband :).

You also need to make sure that the furniture isn’t broken. I was lucky when I found the 1920s chairs because even though they were broken, there were three chairs. So, my handy husband helped me salvage parts from one chair to fix the other one. It also helped that they were only $4.oo each. So I could justify buying a “parts” chair. :)

Here is my most recent furniture make over. I picked up this bad boy (it is definitely a BAD BOY…because it’s so darn HEAVY) at D.I. It caught my eye because of it’s beautiful solid wood base. Plus I’ve been searching for an ottoman. It was love at first site.

Here it is AFTER. Do you like it?

Anyone interested in learning how I created the tufting from the buttons?


  1. says

    OK, so how did you accomplish that with the ottoman? I LOVE the ottoman! I would love to learn how to do the tufted buttons, and quite possibly do the entire piece of furniture. I have been looking for a leather ottoman for my husband for Christmas. I'm Ashley Endsley's mother-in-law, and she got me to start following your blog. I hope I'm doing it the correct way. I'm a high school English teacher, and am looking for a more creative way to do things with furniture. I watch craigslist, KSL.com and frequent D.I., so maybe I'm on my way


  2. Lara says

    Yes please! I have a leather ottoman and the tufted buttons have popped off. I would love to somehow refinish or fix it!

  3. says

    That is AMAZING. Seriously. I could never do that but am impressed by those of you talented enough to do it.
    Anyway, the reason I came by was to welcome you to The Secret is in the Sauce! We're so glad you joined, I know you'll love it!:)

  4. says

    I want to know how you made the buttons :) Plus, how did you take the fabric off of the cushion when it was attached to the wood? How did you get to the staples?

    Also, I was really curious what you do about the cushioning? Like, what if it's very hashed? Do you go and buy more foam? Do you ever refurbish anything with springs?

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